Karen is a seasoned Executive Director with 24 years of experience in the non-profit sector. She began her career by shepherded the Maine Island Trail Association through its lively first 17 years, then went on to lead the Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick for several more. She has felt a lifelong passion for human (and animal!) welfare and has dedicated the last several years to assisting “New Mainers” and other underserved populations in our community along their journey toward financial stability, employment, and most of all: HOPE. Prior to her career in non-profits, Karen was a graphic designer, a photography/filmmaking teacher, and worked as a third mate on tankers in the US Merchant Marine. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic and Publishing Arts from Simmons College and is a graduate of the Institute for Community Leadership. She has also achieved a USCG “all oceans-all tonnage” Third Mate’s License in the American Merchant Marine. Karen comes to Hope Acts with a wealth of life experience and a good deal of appreciation for the experiences of others. She is passionate about the sea, and when she is not working, she is cruising her 97-year-old wooden boat Juniata, her home of the past 37 years!
~ contact Karen
Hope House English Language Program (HHELP) Manager
After volunteering for many years in adult ESL classrooms, while working in public health research and evaluation, she made the decision to change careers and become an ESL teacher. This, she felt, would enable her to live out a commitment to welcome newcomers to her community and assist them in their remarkable efforts to rebuild their lives in a new culture. In 2013/2014 she studied for and was granted a masters degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), at the School for International Training (SIT). This program gave her strong grounding in language acquisition theory and approaches to teaching. Upon returning to Maine in the summer of 2016, she was impressed to learn of Hope Acts and the good work that is taking place. As the new program manager for the Hope House English Language Program she works with the talented and dedicated volunteers to build a strong program in which students feel welcome, comfortable and excited to learn.
~ contact Diane
Program Coordinator, Immigrant Support
Carolyn is a licensed master’s level social worker who began her career working with homeless and runaway youth and their families in Rochester, NY over 20 years ago. After moving to Maine in 1997, Carolyn spent several years doing case management with families experiencing homelessness in the mid-coast area. She has worked in schools, shelters, homes and in agency settings with individuals and families experiencing mental illness, developmental disabilities, trauma and end of life issues. She has served on an Americorps Advisory Board, the Board of Tedford Shelter, the Community Concepts Board and Protect South Portland. When not working, Carolyn enjoys teaching piano to her son, Tom, and coaching her daughter, Yenenesh’s, basketball team. She has her B.A. from Lawrence University and her MSW from SUNY-Buffalo.
~ contact Carolyn
Seminar Volunteer for Academic Year 2017
Molly is a first year student at Meadville Lombard Theological School. Her goal is to become a Unitarian Universalist minister. She grew up in Portland, and is excited to work with Hope Acts and the residents of Hope House as she learns to ground her ministry training in the community she calls home.